I recently bought this Canon PIXMA iP3000 Photo Printer from Newegg.com. I was looking for a replacement for my nearly 5 year old Canon BJC-6000. It needed a new black print head again, so I decided it was time to get a new printer. It had served me well.
My requirements were quite simple. I just needed something to print the occasional color document. I currently, also own a Samsung ML-2152W laser printer, so I do a lot of monochrome printing on that. Also, I’m really not a big fan of printing photos on an inkjet printer either. Considering that I can go down to Sam’s Club and get a 4×6 print for $0.17 I don’t think it’s even worth printing your pictures at home. The occasional single print here and there is fine, but not cost effective.
So, with very simple needs, I found the IP3000 on Newegg’s top 10 seller list. It had a $20 rebate, so I took the bait. I got it for $53.45, shipped, after rebate. Everywhere I read, it had great reviews, assuming you weren’t expecting to print professional photographs.
Overall, I like the design. Everything folds up into a clean looking box. Although not practical on a day-to-day basis, it looks nice. Installing the drivers and hookup was easy and very standard. It uses a USB connection. The drivers are also available on their website. It prints quickly and is very quiet.
There were four really great features of this printer that I didn’t expect off hand.
Dual Paper Path
The first was the alternate paper tray. If you don’t use it, it nicely retracts into the unit, making it completely unobtrusive. However, expand the tray out and you’ve got an alternate paper source. I really love this feature because I can load it up with envelopes. It doesn’t hold a lot, but it is VERY convenient to just change the paper tray in the driver and spit out a printed envelope. I hate messing around with unloading the paper, loading envelopes, resizing the paper guide, printing and then reversing it all back just to print an envelope. This makes it much easier. The same applies if you occasionally print on colored paper or something else. I can also print them on the Samsung, but I still have to pull down the manual feed tray and load the envelope, but this is even easier.
Ink Cartridge Compatability
The other “undocumented” feature is the ink cartridge compatability. From the specs, the IP3000 uses BCI-3eBk, BCI-6M, BCI-6Y, and BCI-6C cartridges. The BCI-3eBK is the exact same black cartrige my BJC-6000 used. For color, the BJC-6000 uses the BCI-3e series. I had found a few hints on the internet that they might be compatible, but I didn’t know for sure until I got the printer. In fact, the BCI-3eM, BCI-3eY and BCI-3eM do work in this printer. This was great for me because I was sitting on a pile of these cartriges that I had bought off E-bay.
This brings up another very important point. NEVER buy a printer without first researching the cost of the consumables (i.e. ink.) You may think you’re getting a great deal, but see how much the ink costs first. Lexmark has been natorious for practially giving away their printers, but the ink is very expensive. Check on-line stores and generics on E-bay. I’ve heard people comment that some of the generics may not work as well for high quality photo prints, but I wouldn’t know for sure. I’ve been using generics in my BJC-6000 for most of the life of the printer and I haven’t had any complaints.
On this type of “low end” printer I really didn’t expect to have automatic duplexing, but this printer has got it! In the print options, you can select to have the document print on both sides of the paper. It will print on the first side, then almost spit the paper out. It hangs on to the bottom of it while it processes the back side, then sucks it back in to print. It’s not the fastest thing by any means, but a really great feature to have. Most of the time I really don’t care how long it takes to print.
I also happen to own a Canon PowerShot S400 4MP digital camera. (Yes, there is a Canon theme here. I do like their products.) Since the IP3000 has “PictBridge Technology.” This allows me to connect my S400 directly to the printer and print a photo. While I wouldn’t explicitly look for this feature, it’s nice, and worth a mention. I tried it once and it was fairly easy to use. I can see it being a great feature for some people.
Overall an excellent buy for what I needed. If it lasts as long as my previous Canon inkjet, I’ll be very satisfied.